Sunday, June 30, 2013

Who Are the True Defenders of the West?

"If Hitler invaded Hell, I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons." --- Winston Churchill, comments to his personal secretary John Colville the evening before Operation Barbarossa.
I'm struck by Melanie Phillips' last line in her response to Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer's reply to her original screed on the Home Secretary's ban:
You’d never think from this, would you, that I wrote the book Londonistan, and have been viciously and repeatedly attacked for ‘Islamophobia’ on account of my warnings against Britain’s systemic failure to acknowledge the religious nature of the Islamic jihad against the west. You’d never realise from this, would you, that in my piece about the banning order I specifically condemned the UK government for allowing into the country inflammatory Islamic extremists while banning Ms Geller and Mr Spencer. No, all this is simply brushed aside -- because I do not think common cause should be made with thugs and neo-Nazis....

It would be comic, were it not a tragic illustration of the west’s inability correctly to identify just who are its enemies and who are its true defenders.
The implication is that by snobbishly dismissing the EDL as a bunch of hooligans and Nazis she's able to seize the high ground over Pamela and Robert. It's an amazing piece of sophistry, especially coming from one of such purportedly high British pedigree. No doubt Ms. Phillips is aware of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's comments on June 21, 1941, the night before Nazi Germany embarked on its fateful strategic gambit to invade Soviet Russian in Hitler's final bid for Lebensraum.

The Soviets after World War II would ultimately become the biggest threat to liberty in the West, but at that moment in 1941 nothing was more important than the defeat of the totalitarian Nazi regime. No country would be safe from Germany's insatiable racist hegemony. The fate of the British Isles and the Empire lay at the hand of Churchill's government. He wasn't about to stick up his nose and diss Stalin as some dirtbag cracker from the Georgian hinterland.

I think this comment at Blazing Cat Fur's thread really sums up:
Spencer and Geller are correct; Phillips is trying to distance herself based on Leftist character assassination, as if the Left does anything else. Phillips should have thought this through and realized she's just isolated herself by trying to distance herself.

She forgets; there's no distance. We all live in Dar al-Harb.
There may be some high principles at stake in this debate. There may be some reasonable claims about the need to keep distance from EDL. But for all of her erudition and past advocacy --- recall that Ms. Phillips has long been one of my favorite writers on the left's destruction of liberty, decency, and national security --- it's clear that she's made a serious lapse of judgment with her internecine war on Pamela and Robert, the premiere counter-jihadists in the U.S.

Pamela and Robert are the true defenders of the West. It's shameful that Ms. Phillips would so hastily throw them under the bus.

And with that, here's Pamela's response this morning, "MORE ELITISM":
Apparently Melanie Phillips can dish it out but she can't take it. She was shocked that both Robert and I would respond to her gratuitous attack on our work. She is calling her cop-out column "A hysterical and ignorant response."

What did she expect? That we wouldn't defend ourselves? She has attacked me before. She praised a blogger who wrote that I was "a lunatic blogger." Please go here and read it all. I did not respond, because lord knows that intercine warfare is the last thing we need. But the last shot she took was a step too far. Not now, when the stakes are so high and time is too short.

Hysterical and ignorant? Pathetic. More elitism. She says she doesn't want to engage in ad hominen attacks, so she lets others do the dirty work and then praises them.

Forgive me if I don't drop to my knees in thanks because she called us "anti-jihad" and not "anti-Muslim," "anti-Islam," or "islamophobic" like the enemy does. That's how low her bar is -- we are supposed to be grateful that she doesn't defame us.

She pats herself on the back for opposing our banning order, but so did some of our most vicious enemies. Are we to be grateful that she didn't support the ban? Really? Please, Mel, don't help me. With friends like you, we don't need Harry's Place.

As for the evidence she presents against the EDL, it is weak and unconvincing. The EDL was formed because the BNP was racist and anti-semitic. They purge BNP from their ranks. The EDL has a Jewish division (and an LBGT division, a Sikh division, etc.). Tommy has been arrested? So what? I never said these were Nancy boys. They aren't. And they don't play in the sandboxes of Oxford, Cambridge or The Spectator. He has paid his debt to society; how long will his troubled youth be held against him? He is, in his way, a more eloquent and impassioned voice against the islamization of his country than is Phillips.

The EDL has nothing racist or xenophobic about its platform. Phillips knows full well that the rare nazi salute at an EDL rally is most often the work of an infiltrator, a deliberate schemer attempting to smear the group. They are removed from the demo immediately. She ought to be more critical of those who seek to manipulate her good opinion.

Phillips says that the EDL targets mosques, but it doesn't. Actually Islamic supremacists fake attacks on mosques and try to pin them on the EDL, but Tommy Robinson has said: "Anyone who knows anything about our group knows there is no way we do anything like that. It’s just so blatant it’s not us."

Her reference to Vlaams Belang is really a low blow. First, because we attended a conference in 2007 that Filip DeWinter happened to be at (here). That is the extent of my relationship. I knew nothing of him or his group (I still don't) when I went to Brussels along with Bat Ye'or, David Littman, Dr. Aryeh Eldad (Israel), Robert Spencer, Dr. Andrew Bostom, Friends of Oriana Fallaci and the world's leading counter jihadists. Hundreds were there. So was DeWinter. So what? Melanie Phillips is now attaching herself to the libels of the execrable Charles Johnson. That tells you everything.
PREVIOUSLY: "Pamela Geller: 'With Friends Like These...'"

Also, "Free Speech Dies in UK: Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller Banned from Entering," and "Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer Banned From Britain."